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The Upper Room devotional reflection for Saturday, October 29, 2022, comes to us from Jewell Johnson of Arizona.

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying, 2 "My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites.

3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. 5 No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. 9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:1-9 NIV



Two bushes stood in our yard, brittle, dry, and close to dying. The weather had turned hot, and in the busyness of daily chores I had failed to water them. Could they be saved or would they be victims of my neglect? I turned on the hose and allowed the water to soak the ground around the bushes twice a day for two days. There was no change. I began to think saving the bushes was impossible. But on the third day I noticed the bushes seemed perkier, greener, and not so wilted.

I kept watering them. Finally, on the fourth day of watering, the two bushes stood tall and healthy. The extra care and watering had been worth it. Just as the bushes in my yard need care and attention, so does my spiritual life. If I do not prioritize my spiritual growth, my spirit will suffer. Just as plants need water to thrive, my spirit needs attention day after day. Through consistent prayer, Bible study, and listening to sermons, I am able to nurture a vibrant and strong faith that can flourish even in challenging circumstances.



As the children of Israel prepared to cross the Jordan River, Moses was not with them. Instead, Joshua is chosen to lead the people on the next part of their journey. Joshua was understandably apprehensive, yet God offers him encouragement. God reminds Joshua to keep – honor and adhere to – the Law Moses had given to the people. Joshua is to meditate on the Law – study, reflect, and ponder ways to implement – day and night. In practical terms, God is asking Joshua to engage in a process for personal spiritual development, so that he can keep his connection with God vibrant and consistent.

One of our S.M.A.R.T. Goals is to have eighty-eight members of our congregation involved in a plan for personal spiritual development. Personal spiritual development strengthens the lines of communication with God, aiding in our ability to respond quickly and effectively when God offers direction. Jewell’s reflection reminds us that to grow and mature, as people of faith, requires intentional time with God. I encourage you to commit to spend at least five minutes each day communing with God.

--Pastor Anthony


Dear God, help us pay attention to what is really important – the care and growth of our spirit. Amen.

-- Jewell Johnson

Prayer Focus:

Someone I can encourage in the earth.

Thought for the day:

Today I will give attention to my spiritual growth by studying God’s word.

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